sirens stock police lights

File photo

One person is in custody after allegedly driving through the front doors of Target at Hammond Square Mall and dropping a possible explosive device.

UpdateThe suspect has been identified. Witnesses describe a chaotic scene.

Hammond Police Chief Edwin Bergeron held an impromptu press conference near the completely evacuated mall area Friday afternoon, saying a suspect is in custody but it's a "fluid investigation."

Police were called to the Target early Friday afternoon, and initial investigation points to the same suspect having dropped possible explosive devices outside the Dollar General on Wardline Road and Sanderson Farms on Highway 190.

A State Police spokesman referred to the suspect earlier in the investigation as an active shooter, but Bergeron clarified Friday that the man is not believed to have shot at anyone, nor did police fire any weapons.

One person sustained a minor glass injury when the car went through the doors of the Target, Bergeron said, but otherwise nobody has been injured.

Bergeron said it's still under investigation whether the devices in question are explosive, but he added that the suspect had another device on his person at the time of arrest that will be investigated.

Top stories in Baton Rouge in your inbox

Twice daily we'll send you the day's biggest headlines. Sign up today.

"We're not sure why he's done it at this point... we believe he acted alone but we're not 100% positive on that," Bergeron told reporters.

The mall has been completely evacuated as Hammond PD, as well as the FBI, Homeland Security, Tangipahoa, St. John and St. Tammany sheriffs offices work the scene.

Bergeron said he has no reason to believe residents of Hammond are in any danger as of this time.

Officials did not release any information on the nature of the incident, and Hammond PD officials did not respond to calls.

This is a developing story, more details to come.

Email Emma Kennedy at